There’s nothing worse than when a traveller on a short holiday on the Croatian coast ends up stuck in their hotel room because of bad weather. Unless you want to risk bad weather sabotaging your Adriatic swimming experience, and maybe if you’re lucky to get rescued by indoor pools, you should definitely play it safe and go to Hvar. Known for years as the sunniest Croatian island, there couldn’t be a safer place to count on a rain-free holiday.
During my time in Hvar town, the forecast showed rain and uncertain weather on the coast, but even the couple of clouds that formed over Hvar quickly dispersed and probably headed over to the mainland, to Split or elsewhere.
In addition to swimming in the Adriatic, Hvar has plenty of heritage and things to see, like the Spanish Fortress (Tvrđava Španjola), lots of churches (such as St. Stephen’s Cathedral), its historical theatre (the oldest municipal theatre in all of Europe, by the way), an archaeological collection in the former Dominican St. Mark’s Church, and the Natural History Cabinet in the Hanibal Lucić Summer Residence – to name a few. In fact, Hvar boasts more UNESCO heritage than any other island in the world.
One of the other interesting sites is also the Former Church and Monastery of St. Veneranda. As Hvar heritage writes, the church was built in 1561 for the needs of Greek Orthodox sailors who were in the service of Venice. Today, the site serves as an outdoor cinema.
The former church tower, the former weather station © Nina Lelas
Right next to it, back in 1858, famous Croatian nature scientist Grgur Bučić established a weather station, one of the first in the entire country. Being part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy at the time, the station was part of the Austrian network of meteorological stations. Thanks to the measures taken under Bučić’s expertise, the sunny days of Hvar are not a market scheme to attract tourists in need of clear sunny weather, but an actually very well-advertised scientific fact. In addition, for his experiments with sponge development, Bučić received global recognition, and seven species of sponges, crabs, and fish were named after him. He published articles regarding meteorology and oceanography and also studied insects and marine life. He also pioneered numerous archaeological digs across Croatia, including on Hvar.
Back in 2018, as TCN wrote, the station marked 160 years of existence. Organised by the Hvar Town Library and State Meteorological and Hydrological Service, this celebratory event revealed some interesting historical moments from and about the station. These include polar lights, storms, falling meteors, earthquakes, vineyards destroyed by hail, sunken ships, and epidemics. In 1884, based on data from Bučić himself, climatologist Julius von Hann (often looked upon as the father of modern meteorology) published his work ”Klima von Lesina” (The climate of Hvar town), the first-ever such book on a Croatian town or area.
Grgur Bučić © MuzejHvar.com
Today, the Bučić tower is locked, and the path to the church now serves as an outdoor cinema, without that many interesting things to be seen. Could the tower be renovated and showcase the instruments this pioneer station used in the past? Perhaps, and it would certainly be a cool addition to the already extensive offer Hvar has for its visitors.
Veneranda, location of the station, screenshot / Google maps
While waiting to see what the future may bring, it’s worth taking a look at this station, not far from the waterfront and the nearby beaches. Express some gratitude and dedicate a refreshing swim to Bučić himself, a brilliant man whose findings gave us scientific, statistical reassurance that Hvar is the sunniest place in all of Croatia.
Learn more about Hvar on our TC page.
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